A local writing competition has returned for a second year and is now inviting entries from across the county.
The Leicester Writes Short Story Prize is organised by Leicester press Dahlia Publishing. It is looking for short stories of up to 3000 words on any theme or subject.
Publisher, Farhana Shaikh said: "We’re really excited about launching this competition for a second time. Last year, we received more than a hundred entries, half of which came from within Leicestershire. We know people are writing short stories and more people than ever are reading them. We want to support this growth. As ever, we're keen unearth some raw talent."
Last year's winning story, Aunty by C. G Menon, was chosen anonymously by the judging panel which included writers Rebecca Burns, Nina Stibbe, Divya Ghelani and Grace Haddon, as well as bookseller Debbie James of The Bookshop Kibworth. She won £100 prize and a selection of books. Leicester-based writer Siobhan Logan was awarded second place for her story Switching Off the Metronome.
Last year's winner C.G. Menon and runner-up Siobhan Logan
The 2018 competition is now open to writers all over the world but a concession is being offered to local residents. Anyone living in the city and county can enter the prize for just £3. The prize is also a good opportunity to have your work read by established writers. This year's judging panel includes local short story writer Rebecca Burns, Costa Novel of Year Award winner Jon McGregor, and last year’s first prize winner C. G. Menon.
The first prize winner will receive a £100. A long-list will be published in an anthology and launched during the annual Leicester Writes Festival of New Writing.
Judge Rebecca Burns said: "I want to read a story that stays with me past the ending - a story that stops me in my tracks through either striking imagery, believable characters or crisp dialogue - or all of the above! Make me angry that the story has ended."
Entries can be made online at the Leicester Writes website.
The closing date for entries is April 2, 2018.